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Kent Pilakowski

Founder, IGNITE Sales Management

Kent’s experience spans from category management to channel strategy and trade optimization to customer management to retail execution and more. A “category captain” in the natural/organic space, his final role at General Mills was directing the sales operations, trade marketing, and category management for the Small Planet Foods organic division.

During his tenure with Small Planet Foods, he witnessed many brands who needed more than what was at that time offered. What was missing was a more holistic view of growth and the strategy that drives it – focused on sales, but including all aspects of brand and product development.

In 2007, Kent created IGNITE Sales Management, which was a first of its kind sales model and still the only business that ultimately scaled the concept of sales management in the space. Clients under the IGNITE umbrella included: Essentia water (Nestle), Talenti Gelato (Unilever) , Beyond Meat (IPO), Birch Benders (Savos), Blake’s All-Natural (Con Agra), Red’s All Natural (Bansk Group), Oatly (IPO), amongst many others.

After building IGNITE for nine years that ended with 40+ sales professionals, Kent sold the business (using Whipstitch) to the largest food broker in the U.S., Acosta Sales and Marketing.